Bears-Eagles flexed into prime time Week 16

Getty Images

After the Eagles and Bears both won games with major NFC playoff implications in Week 14, the NFL decided to give their meeting in Week 16 a prime time audience.

The Bears-Eagles game in Philadelphia has been moved from its previously scheduled 1 p.m. Eastern kickoff on FOX to Sunday Night Football on NBC. Chicago is currently tied with Detroit for NFC North supremacy (though the Lions own the tiebreaker), while Philadelphia is currently one game ahead of Dallas in the NFC East. That makes Bears-Eagles a big game.

The Patriots-Ravens game in Baltimore that had been scheduled for Sunday Night Football on December 22 has now been moved to a 4:25 p.m. kickoff on CBS. Although the Patriots and Ravens are both fighting for playoff spots, Bears-Eagles is the game that will draw the bigger audience.

There’s a good chance that either the Bears or the Eagles will play on Sunday night in Week 17 as well. The NFL tries to put a game with playoff implications for both teams in the final prime time matchup, and the most likely Week 17 candidates are Eagles-Cowboys as a battle for the NFC East or Bears-Packers as a battle for the NFC North. The Week 17 prime time game will be announced after Week 16, when all the playoff scenarios are known.

104 responses to “Bears-Eagles flexed into prime time Week 16

  1. “The Week 17 prime time game will be announced after Week 16, when all the playoff scenarios are known.”

    Week 17 prime time game, aka The Jerry Jones Heartburn Bowl.

  2. the only real flexing will come from Chip Kellys 11 headed offensive monster Machine Tour 2013. Mail in the stats.

  3. Good! Much rather the Ravens have a 4:25 game than a night game. Night games are great when you are either in college or don’t have to go to work. When you actually have to drive home from the game and get up and go to work the next day, they suck!!

  4. The Ravens and Patriots have represented the AFC in the Superbowl for the past 2 years and the NFL thinks a Bears/Eagles game will draw the bigger audience?

    When’s the last time either of those teams did ANYTHING in the playoffs?

  5. Tyler….It has nothing to do with how good they’ve been in the past. It is simply because of the size of their TV markets. Chicago and Philly are monsters.

  6. I am a little surprised by this.

    Nothing against the Eagles or Bears, but a game between the defending Super Bowl champs battling for their playoff lives against a team battling for home field advantage throughout the playoffs seems fairly compelling to me.

    Especially since you know the Eagles are getting flexed again the following week for the NFC East Championship game against the Cowboys.

  7. NBC wants to get the Eagles on Sunday night at least once this season, and they’re starting to realise that the Eagles Cowboys game in week 17 might be meaningless since there’s a good chance the Eagles will have the division wrapped up by then.

  8. tyler200829 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:23 PM
    Please explain how the eagles vs bears will draw a bigger audience than a game featuring the last two AFC champions and the defending Super Bowl champs

    =================================
    I agree. A Patriot loss could knock them out of the 2nd seed, and a Raven loss could knock them out of the playoffs. Having said that, I am happy to have the 4:30 slot. I don’t have to stay up until 11:30 or 12:00.

  9. eatitfanboy says: Dec 10, 2013 1:29 PM

    I am a little surprised by this.

    Nothing against the Eagles or Bears, but a game between the defending Super Bowl champs battling for their playoff lives against a team battling for home field advantage throughout the playoffs seems fairly compelling to me.

    Especially since you know the Eagles are getting flexed again the following week for the NFC East Championship game against the Cowboys.

    —————————-
    The Eagles/Cowboys game could be meaningless. If the Eagles beat the Vikings and the Cowboys lose to the Packers, then an Eagles win over the Bears or a Cowboys loss to the Redskins gives the Eagles the division. Even the Cowboys won’t lose to the Redskins, so the Eagles could clinch the division against the Bears.

  10. Damn… I was getting used to having breakfast, heading to the game and getting home in time to watch a full day of football, LOL. It’s great that Chip Kelly got The Eagles back in contention soon enough to play meaningful games in December.

  11. Especially since you know the Eagles are getting flexed again the following week for the NFC East Championship game against the Cowboys.

    ————————————-

    Barring the inevitable December meltdown from Romo and co.

  12. Garbage.

    Bears/Eagles will likely be a good game, but we’re talking about bumping a match up between the two teams who have gone head to head in the AFC championship game each of the last two years. There will still be just as many playoff implications in the Ravens/Patriots game, if not more so, than there will be in Bears/Eagles. There was no need to bump the game out of Sunday night, unless the NFL is hoping Ravens/Bengals will fight for the AFC North title in Week 17.

  13. camcameronsucks says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:27 PM

    The Ravens and Patriots have represented the AFC in the Superbowl for the past 2 years and the NFL thinks a Bears/Eagles game will draw the bigger audience?

    When’s the last time either of those teams did ANYTHING in the playoffs?
    ———————————

    You answered your own question, why would anybody want to watch the SAME teams that have played for the past 2 years in primtime? People want FRESH material not same ol same ol crap. Eagles don’t play the bears often and it’s two teams fighting for playoff spots. After the eagles dominated the lions in 8 inches of snow I would say they deserve the spot. If you are a fan of the Patriots or Ravens I can understand your biased way of thinking but try and look at the bigger picture… Two MAJOR cities who have not been in the playoffs for awhile.

  14. Oh… boy… I am soooo excited that we get to see even more of these two teams.

    Saints-Panthers game will be far more interesting. But market size trumps interesting.

  15. Both options probably would have been nice. Personally I like the 1pm games the best.

    It should be a good game though. Two teams fighting for a playoff spot when it seemed unlikely. New Coaches, backup QBs taking over as Starters due to injury trying to lead them to the Playoffs.

    Its not like you can’t understand why the networks did the swap.

  16. So we are flexing the world champs vs the premier team in the league for the past 10 years out of prime time for 2 teams that haven’t been in superbowl contention for 8 years.

    MAKES SENSE!!!

  17. Yesssss !!!! Who cares about the Super Bowl !???? We love our team regardless ! We can go 0-16 and still be there for our team unlike y’all folks . You’ll hide when your team is down and going through it but soon as they start winning everyone is buying tickets !

  18. s0merand0mguy says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:50 PM
    camcameronsucks says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:27 PM

    The Ravens and Patriots have represented the AFC in the Superbowl for the past 2 years and the NFL thinks a Bears/Eagles game will draw the bigger audience?

    When’s the last time either of those teams did ANYTHING in the playoffs?
    ———————————

    You answered your own question, why would anybody want to watch the SAME teams that have played for the past 2 years in primtime? People want FRESH material not same ol same ol crap. Eagles don’t play the bears often and it’s two teams fighting for playoff spots. After the eagles dominated the lions in 8 inches of snow I would say they deserve the spot. If you are a fan of the Patriots or Ravens I can understand your biased way of thinking but try and look at the bigger picture… Two MAJOR cities who have not been in the playoffs for awhile.

    ———————————————-

    And Baltimore and Boston are what, small time cities?

    Think about what you’re saying. You think a game between the two teams who faced off in the last two AFC Championship Games wouldn’t draw as big an audience as two teams fighting for their respective divisions? I could understand your argument if either Patriots and/or Ravens were well under .500, but they’re both jockeying for playoff spots, especially the Ravens. There’s just as much at stake there, if not more so, than Bears/Eagles.

  19. logicalvoicesays says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:20 PM
    The Eagles have Zero Superbowls and I’ll be typing that for the next hundred, thousand years.
    ———
    And yet, they will still win one before Little Danny does.

  20. The funny part is that if the Eagles beat The Vikings Sunday (which they should) then the Bears game will be meaningless to the Eagles , because they will still need to win week 17 in Dallas. Unless the Cowboys free fall in the next 2 weeks then it will be meaningless for other reasons.

    Another note to those of you that seem to be clueless about the Eagles “terrible defense” media included, the Eagles haven’t given up more than 21 points in over 2 months.

  21. …and with that, the defending Super Bowl champs have less home prime time games than the sorry Washington Redskins.

  22. And Baltimore and Boston are what, small time cities?
    ————————————————————
    Yes compared to the #3 & #4 markets in the country they are smaller cities.

  23. goodknave says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:28 PM
    Tyler….It has nothing to do with how good they’ve been in the past. It is simply because of the size of their TV markets. Chicago and Philly are monsters.
    =======

    SNF has great ratings when garbage teams play. Do you mean to tell me that football fans in Philly and Chicago won’t watch Sunday night football if their team isn’t playing? What are they are going to watch instead? Keeping up with the Kardashians?

    On the other hand, what’s more likely to draw a casual viewer- Tom Brady v. Joe Flacco or Nick Foles v. Josh McCown?

  24. southpaw2k says: Dec 10, 2013 1:59 PM

    s0merand0mguy says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:50 PM
    camcameronsucks says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:27 PM

    The Ravens and Patriots have represented the AFC in the Superbowl for the past 2 years and the NFL thinks a Bears/Eagles game will draw the bigger audience?

    When’s the last time either of those teams did ANYTHING in the playoffs?
    ———————————

    You answered your own question, why would anybody want to watch the SAME teams that have played for the past 2 years in primtime? People want FRESH material not same ol same ol crap. Eagles don’t play the bears often and it’s two teams fighting for playoff spots. After the eagles dominated the lions in 8 inches of snow I would say they deserve the spot. If you are a fan of the Patriots or Ravens I can understand your biased way of thinking but try and look at the bigger picture… Two MAJOR cities who have not been in the playoffs for awhile.

    ———————————————-

    And Baltimore and Boston are what, small time cities?

    Think about what you’re saying. You think a game between the two teams who faced off in the last two AFC Championship Games wouldn’t draw as big an audience as two teams fighting for their respective divisions? I could understand your argument if either Patriots and/or Ravens were well under .500, but they’re both jockeying for playoff spots, especially the Ravens. There’s just as much at stake there, if not more so, than Bears/Eagles.

    ——————————-

    Baltimore is such a big city that they couldn’t hold the Ravens (and NFL) season opener because of an Orioles game.

  25. Rebuilding year?

    Couldn’t be happier to see this core of young players step up.
    The progression of the defensive 7 has been the biggest surprise of this season.
    Chip has these players believing in the work they are doing, the work they have done.

    all the pundits mocked the Eagles and their “college offense” and even took shots at the healthy lifestyle plan that was such a big part of the off-season, but look at them now. Healthier, stronger, and more charged than 90% of the teams in the league.

    I can’t wait to rub Dallas’s nose into the dirt of that big ol’ funplex in Arlington.

    Go Birds
    In Chip We Trust.

  26. Flacco: 18 TDs, 17 INTs, 3 300 yard games
    Brady: 21 TDs, 9 INTs, 5 300 yard games

    Jump Ball Joe better hope Triplette’s calling the game. Otherwise it’s going to be the latest “Brady leads Patriots to last minute win over ______” ticker scroll.

  27. As a Patriots fan I actually really like this. No team in the NFL scares me more than the Ravens and playing them in that stadium at night is a tough proposition for any team. I think I like the Patriots chances a little more with the game being moved to the late afternoon.

    Although I can assure you that it’s still going to be an absolute battle that will come down to the fourth quarter.

  28. For those talking about how amazing Brady vs. Flacco would be, Foles (120.0 rating) and McCown (109.8 rating) combine for 31 TDs (plus 4 rushing TDs) and 2 picks. Hasn’t Flacco thrown 17 interceptions with a pathetic 77.0 rating? I think the QB matchup is just fine.

  29. weepingjebus says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:07 PM
    Flacco: 18 TDs, 17 INTs, 3 300 yard games
    Brady: 21 TDs, 9 INTs, 5 300 yard games

    Jump Ball Joe better hope Triplette’s calling the game. Otherwise it’s going to be the latest “Brady leads Patriots to last minute win over ______” ticker scroll.

    ———————————————-

    2012 AFC Championship game stats:

    Joe Flacco – 22/36, 306 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
    Tom Brady – 22/36, 239 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INT

    2013 AFC Championship game stats:

    Joe Flacco – 21/36, 240 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
    Tom Brady – 29/54, 320 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT

    NEXT.

  30. “I don’t get this. Previous SB champs versus one of the biggest stars in the league in Tom Brady. It’s Tom Brady! People would watch!”

    Just read this site and you’ll see the star power Brady and the Patriots have. Every single post about either is flooded by those who loathe Brady and the Pats. Though Patriots haters almost always end up disappointing they will watch to see Brady struggle and the Patriots lose. It’s an obsession, they can’t help themselves.

  31. As an eagles fan, I am excited for this. I am surprised though they moved this game over the Ravens Pats though. I saw some people keep saying that they will move the Eagles Cowboys game too. It could be meaningless though if the eagles win their next two and the cowboys lose just 1 of the their next two, which is looking very possible. Everyone just saw Saints Panthers so I guess the league just wants something different. Everything is financially driven so I’m sure they know something we all don’t. Anyway, I think the last Sunday will have plenty off meaningful games to flex into the night game.

  32. Please explain how the eagles vs bears will draw a bigger audience than a game featuring the last two AFC champions and the defending Super Bowl champs

    —————————————————

    Hint:

    – Chicago #3 media market
    – Philadelphia #4 media market

  33. baltimoresnativeson says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:52 PM

    So we are flexing the world champs vs the premier team in the league for the past 10 years out of prime time for 2 teams that haven’t been in superbowl contention for 8 years.

    MAKES SENSE!!!
    ———————————–

    It does, not from a biased fans perspective though. Eagles-Bears will have more viewers and are both top tier money market teams. They also were not in the playoffs last year which makes it more interesting.. Plus it’s a 1st year coach vs 1st year coach…. makes perfect sense.

  34. Is just me or this one oddest flex moves ever? I mean come on the Pats/Ravens has way more star power than the Bears/Eagles. I never saw this coming. Who cares about media market when you have Brady vs. last year’s SB MVP.

  35. dont get me wrong, the Eagles and Bears could be great, but why flex out the Patroits and Ravens who both could have something to play for by then??? it’s not like both those teams are out of it or one team is great while the other is playing for the top pick, but it will be a great game none the less because both games have teams who are playing for something.

  36. I think it’s great that nearly every team in the NFC North is battling right down to the wire – relevant football teams playing meaningful December games.

    And then there are the Vikings.

  37. Shady McCoy will rush for 575 yds and 3 tds. But it will be no match for the best QB in Chicago Bears history JAY CUTLER who will throw for 650 yds and 7tds on his path to Superbowl MVP!

  38. tyler200829 says: Dec 10, 2013 1:23 PM

    Please explain how the eagles vs bears will draw a bigger audience than a game featuring the last two AFC champions and the defending Super Bowl champs
    ———————————————–
    Okay, since you asked politely. Pats are AFCE champs, and Ravens are fighting the Dolphins for a wild card. In the other game Eagles are dueling Cowboys for NFCE and Bears are fighting Packers and Lions for NFCN. Eagles, Bears and Cowboys ALL have huge fan bases.

  39. Chip Kelly has never said that his offense would revolutionize the NFL or anything of the sort. All Kelly has done is a good job using the talent Andy Reid left behind way better than Reid ever did and get the most out of the scraps Reid left behind as well.

  40. wiitrainingcamp says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:37 PM
    Please explain how the eagles vs bears will draw a bigger audience than a game featuring the last two AFC champions and the defending Super Bowl champs

    —————————————————

    Hint:

    – Chicago #3 media market
    – Philadelphia #4 media market
    ==========

    So you’re saying people in Philly and Chicago only watch SNF when their team is in the game? I would doubt that’s true.

    What would they watch instead of Patriots/Ravens on a Sunday night?

  41. How about the Vikings-Lions game moved into prime time for the last game at the dome and the packer/bears will already know their fate depending on if the Lions win or lose.

  42. How we overrated if our running back leads the nfl in rushing ? And our QB has 20 touchdown passes and just 1 INT ? With a QB RATING OF 120 ? How are we overrated . Sounds like you don’t watch football .

  43. Anything that has nothing to do with the Cowboys or Redskins is okay with me.

    Especially the Redskins. RGIII is not fully healed and isn’t playing well.

  44. funshipm174 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:25 PM
    Having the PATS getting bumped from prime time…..PRICELESS!!!

    ===============================
    Most in Patriot nation are happy to have a late afternoon game as apposed to a real late game. It may not be a big deal on the west coast, but when games end at 11:30 or 12:00 (sometimes later) it grows old.

  45. I love ravens vs. pats games, always close, but I think NBC is appealing to the casual fans. Philly an bears are exciting offensive teams, it should be a shootout. Brady’s awesome but he’s sucked in the first half of games this year and flacco is flacco, the score will be low in the first half and most casual fans will tune out. NBC obviously doesn’t want that.

  46. phillysports1 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:56 PM
    Yesssss !!!! Who cares about the Super Bowl !???? We love our team regardless ! We can go 0-16 and still be there for our team unlike y’all folks . You’ll hide when your team is down and going through it but soon as they start winning everyone is buying tickets !
    —————————————
    YOU care about a superbowl, don’t kid yourself…

  47. I’m guessing this was done as a trade off to CBS for letting the league flex the week 11 KC/DEN game that had been protected.

  48. phillysports1 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 3:17 PM
    How eagles overrated if we beat cardinals and Detroit ? Wth
    ————————————–
    Cardinals and Lions are both overrated too, that’s how…

  49. Chicago & Philadelphia are bigger markets, plus the Eagles are a up & coming team that would be an amazing story going from 4-12 to winning the NFC East in one season, making one major change…Firing Andy Reid and hiring Chip Kelly…great move…EAGLES!!!!!!

  50. So we are flexing the world champs vs the premier team in the league for the past 10 years out of prime time for 2 teams that haven’t been in superbowl contention for 8 years.

    MAKES SENSE!!!
    ———————————–

    It does, not from a biased fans perspective though. Eagles-Bears will have more viewers and are both top tier money market teams. They also were not in the playoffs last year which makes it more interesting.. Plus it’s a 1st year coach vs 1st year coach…. makes perfect sense.
    _______________________________

    How do teams NOT being in the playoffs make them MORE interesting? And 1st year coaches are more interesting than Suberbowl coaches with rival history? I fail to see the reasoning. Must be my bias getting in the way of that astounding logic.

  51. Pretty sad when skins fans and cowboy fans post gloating about their past history and super bowls. Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t the Redskins have 3 double digit losing seasons in 3 of the past 4 years? from 2010 to 2013?. And how many playoff wins do the Cowboys have in the last 16 years?-That would be a WHOPPING ONE WIN Redskins right on their heels-ONE WIN in the last 14 years!! PRETTY IMPRESSIVE. Must be nice for those dedicated fans to think back about those wins?? IT sucks to be you right now Doesn’t it??

  52. this has more to do with 2 big tv markets than quality football, smh. If the jets or giants were at 500 they would be flexed.
    a slap in the face to 2 franchises who have been the best in the 21st century.
    same reason fox sticks most of the country with the yankees during baseball season whether they are good or not, doesn’t matter

  53. I hear ya nativeson, but casual fans, which is what networks want, to get huge audiences, don’t care about history or rivalry. They just want to see points. Look at the stupid songs they play at the beginning of prime time games, it’s laughable. The worlds about making corporations more money, not what makes sense, no pun intended.

  54. dublindemonszfl says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:29 PM
    No defense, the network is hoping for high point records to fall. Is it to late for the Bears to trade for the Vikings Chris Cook? We’ll take some old cleats.

    No defense? Eagles haven’t given up more than 21 points in the last 6 weeks and have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher.

  55. Pats-Ravens is a good game but I can see flexing in the Bears too. It’s nice of the league to throw Eagles fans a bone since they aren’t thought highly enough of to have had a scheduled Sunday Night game before the season started.

  56. Would prefer the Eagles game was not moved, I like the early starts, but I certainly get it. Maybe it’s my NFC bias but Pats v. Ravens is a snoozefest….I wouldn’t have have it to halftime.

  57. Horrible decision that makes no sense. You have a rematch of the last two afc championship games, last two afc super bowl representatives, in primetime and you pass. Pats fighting to hold on to a first round bye or even get the number one seed, ravens fighting to get into the playoffs. Two super bowl winning quarterbacks going head to head in what has become an excellent rivalry since 2007 in which every game between these teams comes down to the final minutes (besides 2009 playoffs), and you pass in favor of Luke McCown and Nick Foles? Really? McCown vs. Foles over Brady vs. Flacco? Not to mention the patriots have played close and thrilling games all year. Absolutely idiotic flex move by NBC.

  58. Simple,

    Post the Ravens Patriots Sunday night rating from last year

    VS

    Eagles Bears Sunday night rating this year when they come out.

    I refuse to believe eagles bears will top it until I see it.

  59. Every single one of you here have missed the obvious. It has nothing to do with the Sunday night game itself. CBS has the double header week, by moving the Pats/Ravens to 4:25 there is now good football in the afternoon. Without this move the national 4:25 audience would be stuck with ome of the following … Broncos/Texans , Jets/Browns ,, Raiders/Chargers

  60. J9 is correct. The only other choice would have been to move the Eagles Bears to the late afternoon slot but the suits feel that game will have better ratings in the night time prime spot.

  61. narfmoo12 says:
    Dec 10, 2013 2:04 PM

    Baltimore is such a big city that they couldn’t hold the Ravens (and NFL) season opener because of an Orioles game.

    ——————————–

    The Ravens and the Orioles both have downtown stadiums that share a parking lot. The size of the city has nothing to do with the scheduling dispute you’re referring to.

  62. flavordave says:
    Dec 10, 2013 1:18 PM
    the only real flexing will come from Chip Kellys 11 headed offensive monster Machine Tour 2013. Mail in the stats.

    ——

    I remember at the beginning of the season you were saying this. Then they lost however many in a row and you disappeared for about that many weeks. Now they’ve found themselves and suddenly you’re busting your balls trying to get some trolling done.

    I guess there is such a thing as a fair-weather troll.

  63. I am shocked !!!!!

    The only reason this game was flexed was as a favor to CBS because the NFL forced them to give up the first Denver/Kansas City game that they protected.

    i knew they would move another game to the 4:25 slot for their DH –just didnt think it would come like this.

    No matter what happens next week at least one of Philly and Chicago have something to play for.

    If Philly wins next week, Dallas lose next week, and Dallas lose again in the afternoon week 16, Then Philly will clinch the division before this game starts. They would be up by 2 games with dallas having only 1 to play.

  64. Anyone that has been around a while, and didn’t just get their driver’s license recently, would be more likely to watch and appreciate any Prime Time game that featured Tom Brady at QB. The man’s track record is unparalleled, and he won’t be around forever. As long as the other team brings their A game, and they always do, you know it will be a great game to watch, no matter what the situation or weather, because Brady is not only never really out of any game until it is over, but he’s darn well likely to win it. These are rare qualities on display, and even the haters will admit that when he’s gone….

    Flexing that grudge match in favor of this game looks like a foolish move for obvious reasons. I can honestly say I won’t be watching it…. sorry.

  65. Philly has been hot! The Bears are fighting for the division. Both teams most likely need this win to make the playoffs. It will be more of an entertaining game because both teams should score like crazy. Both teams have more players on offense that can make big plays and that probably has a lot to do with the choice. Not to mention now we have a great afternoon game to watch with the Pats vs Ravens. The Bears vs Eagles would not air on TV if not for Sumday. They did us a favor on this one believe me! We get 2 good games of football we can watch with out league pass!

  66. Not to mention the Bears and Eagles game is going to draw Cowboy fans, Lions fans, and even Packer fans. Assuming all these teams win next week they are all in contention to win the division if one of the other teams flop. It makes sense in that regard.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!